Carpenter Wanna-Be

The last couple of days have been a little hazy. Literally. Sanding down wood to make chic little picture projects, and visible sawdust on the carpet because I’ve decided it’s too cold in the garage. Now that these projects have lasted for more than two days, in my minds eye I’ve gone from beginner to still a beginner, but somehow now deserve power tools and the title of master carpenter.
I’ve purchased wood from a warehouse home improvement store, and had them slice it down to manageable lengths. After taking it home, I had to sand them down, stain them, distress them, hammer in some tacks, and wait for glue to dry. Realizing my awesomeness, I felt that I could now endeavor to create a second and third project that required a smaller block out of the larger piece, so I had to return and buy myself a saw. Well it looked easy…
Then I had to sand. Inevitably, with a hand saw, my line ended up crooked, and with shaking arms, I then had to whittle away the ill proportioned edge, and sand some more. Then there was more sanding, and finally, more sanding. Guess what I did next? That’s right! I sanded! The entire time I was thinking one of either these three things. First, I thought about the person this gift was going to. Was this recipient worthy of this Christmas gift? With a smile, the answer was of course yes. With only days left until unwrap, I thought about wildly hunting down the manual for hubby’s scary power saw he used to quickly slice through crown moulding a few years back. It sits in the garage like an impressive, and intimidating defensive linebacker, but I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle his possibilities. So it sits quietly, and I sit impatiently, rubbing back and forth, with hazy clouds of wood dust landing on my jeans.
Jesus came to mind. He used to sand by hand. He used to be a carpenter, and that thought was comforting, that we were sharing this creative moment. Through the shroud of wood bits, God spoke. Yes, Jesus speaks in the wood pile.
His arms had gotten tired. His hands felt rough like mine, as he lay down to sleep at night. He knew how much hard work to put in for someone else. Jesus knew the cost of making something beautiful. O yeah, did he know. He knew that if the wood could speak, it would be complaining, just as we do. Being cut, sanded, nailed into, stained, hammered, and drilled. It’s not an easy process, being changed, bit by sweat-filled bit, into a precious heirloom piece.
Jesus reminded me that for now, we’re just unfinished projects, but He’s the Master Carpenter. He wants us to submit to His plan for us. Better than anything we could have engineered for ourselves, allow your life to be lived out in gratitude for all He’s done. He reminded me to stop complaining that I would have done something differently, and allow Him to do His master work. Submit to His experienced hands. In a season of joy and smiles, He’s waiting for the glue to dry. When I’m going through a time of uncomfortable, I’m being whittled and sanded. One day, though, I’ll be a work of art. Exquisite in beauty, and sealed for a purpose. The Artist’s signature will be stained into the extraordinary, making the finished product even more wondrous.
But for now I sit, muscles aching, and the dust flying in my eyes, clouding how I see.


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